Hi, this might be stupid but... here goes.
I got a new computer with plenty of HD space without actually thinking about what I'd do with all that space. I got great deals on two 400GB HDs ($80 each) and I didn't want to pass it up.
So, I was wondering if there's a way to upconvert DVDs via software? I know there are upconverting DVD players which upconvert to 1080i or 720p, but due to my computer's 720p/1080i capable 16:10 LCD, I figure that would be my best option (vs my 540p/1080i 4:3 TV). Besides, my PC can output to my TV via component anyway so I'd be saving money on buying a $100 upscaling DVD player.
I have a basic knowledge of how to rip DVDs to .avi/mpegs (I use DVD Decrypter to rip and DVDx to convert) but have no idea how to get the video file to be a 1080i file or a 720p file. I know that 720p has a resolution of 1280x720 or 1366x768 and 1080i has a resolution of 960x540 (or something like that) but it can't be as simple as just encoding at those resolutions I'm guessing.
Any and all help appreciated.
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RedGiant Software has a HD unconverting plugin. If it is anything like their MagicBullet Suite (which I do like) then it will probably take you several days to convert each movie.
Don't confuse your monitor or LCD TV's resolution with HD resolution. Many that claim to be HD can accept a HD signal, but downscale it to their native resolution, which could be as low as 480p. I believe 1080i resolution is 1920 x 1080.
To be honest, if you are simply doing this to fill excess disc capacity, you would be better off selling one of the drives on ebay and using the proceeds to buy a good upscaling player. The results will be far superior to anything you can do in software, and without all the time wasting conversion.
You can also do realtime "upconverting" when you play the video using for example ffdshow,
requires much work to get it to work perfect though.
You might also want to read this for a starter discussion on upsizing software. It is a testament to the amount of grunt needed to do this right that all the dedicated software solutions take an extraordinary amount of time to process the video.
On my machine, in Quality over speed mode, Video Enhancer wanted around 4 hours to process 160 seconds of video. In speed over quality mode it wanted just under and hour. This was to resize up to 720p. And the results weren't that great, especially when the sample ended up playing in slowmotion.
You already have realtime hardware upconversion in your computer's display card. Just play a 720x480p "movie" DVD in a good software player and select "full screen". That upconverts 720x480p to your screen display resolution (probably 1366x768).
A 480i DVD will need some kind of deinterlacing while playing. Use a deinterlacing player like PowerDVD or VLC. The display card also has some level of deinterlace.
1080i playback out your analog component outputs is probably not as good as you would expect. Normally the display card will deinterlace it to progressive before outputting as 1080i.
Thanks for all the help guys. Looks like I'll have to put in some serious time to get for this.
I think my monitor can handle anything up to 720p. It's a Samsung 215TW and it's native resolution is 1680x1050 and I tested via our Xbox 360 using the VGA connection and it can indeed handle any resolution besides the 1080p (which is a little too tall and way too wide for my display). And the image quality is definitely an improvement over 1080i, Gears of War looks fantastic in 720p.
Also, I think 1080i is somethingx540 because it interlaced (meaning it shows 'half' the image and then the other 'half' of the image). That's what my regular TV's vertical resolution is.
I am (still) processing a video with Video Enhancer at the moment. In fast mode it will take approx 18 hours to do 89 minutes worth. I am only doing a moderate resize (572 up to 720 width) but the quality is impressive. Better than an resize I have seen in virtualdub or avisynth. The question is : is the quality difference worth the time it takes (i.e. is 25% increase in quality worth 400% increase in processing time ?)
I'll let you know when it finishes (another 3.5 hours to go) and I have watched the original and the upscaled version side by side on my TV.
Upscaling to HD, even only 720p, is a bigger leap. Aside from the even longer processing times, the amount of compensation required will be greater. As I don't have a player or TV capable of viewing 720p material, I'll leave you to do that test yourself.
Neat... that'll save me time if I choose not to do it. Thanks for all your help.
Haven't had a chance to watch it on the TV yet, however looking at it on the PC I can report that the image quality is quite good - clean edges, no aliasing apparent from the resize, no over-sharpening of the image. On the downside, it does up the saturation of the image by 2 - 3%. Not a lot, but noticeable.
How long did it take total and how long as the clip? Any chance of some screen cap comparisons?
If it takes too long, I might just buy an upscaling DVD player and use my capture card's component inputs to capture at HD resolutions to see what those results are. If those results are bad, then... I'll at least have a stand alone upconverting DVD player.
Originally Posted by fryeboltx2
It sounds to me like you might be better off just buying the upscaling dvd player and skip the computer all together. Just popping in a dvd and watching it is so much easier than any conversion step you would take on your computer.
Just a suggestion.....Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
not to thread jack, BUT, i have two Sony Rear Projection CRT HD televisions, the newest being a 47" widescreen bought in March 2004. will using an up convertion DVD player make that much difference going thru the DVI input?? i do have a HDMI to DVI adapter as well as the DVI cable.....
You can always rip the original audio from the disc and mix it with the up-converted capture.
On my system, use the speed over quality option, the conversion of an 89 minute Xvid to Divx 6.4 (couldn't get it to use the Xvid codec), up-scaling from 572 x 312 to 720 x 394 took just under 18 hours. Using quality over speed pushed it out to almost 24 hours. In this particular instance - a cg animation - these seemed to be little visual difference between the quality levels. Perhaps with live action the difference would be more pronounced.
When played back on the TV there was little difference between the player upscaling the original or playing back the resized version.
I guess the short answer is that Video Enhancer does what it claims, performing good quality upscaling in software, however it is so slow in performance, and hardware upscalers so much more efficient, that there is little benefit to be had by upscaling in software. You would have to be very good with filters to get the same quality out of avisynth, but why bother.
Originally Posted by yoda313
I think you guys converted me, it's better to get a stand one unit for DVDs. But now I'm thinking about upconverting some of my favorite old TV shows and stuff.
Well, thanks for all the help guys.
Be reasonable in your expectations though. Depending on the quality of the source, there is only so much that can be done, either by software or hardware. Some old TV shows look awful on DVD, so upconverting may just expose the flaws even more.
Yeah, I know all about conversion and what to expect. I'm talking about VHS to DVD... so hopefully I'll see a noticeable jump but I'm not going to hold my expectations too high. I'll try it with a few small clips and go from there.
Originally Posted by guns1inger
care to guess which software i use? ffmpeg, either the one that comes with the latest version of winff (highly recommended, super fast with incredible quality) or the one that came with the previous version of gui4ffmpeg (the current gui4ffmpeg uses an extremely crappy version of ffmpeg, don't know who compiled it or what he did to it, but it sucks).
try it, play around with some of the command line options, once you use it, you'll never use anything else.
did i mention is fast?
Did you also actually read any of this thread ? We are not talking about simple upsizing. I can do that with avisynth and ProCoder in under 90 minutes. So what.
What we were discussing is dedicated upconversion software that uses complicated motion estimation algorithms to produce higher quality images than simple Lanczos resizing and a sharpen filter.
So you go and play with your new toy, excited by every little discovery you make. We have all been there and though we were the first to discover it too. When you are older, you can come back and play with the grown-ups.
Originally Posted by guns1inger
You can be banned immediately without warning at our discretion. Just so you know. This applies to everyone.
however i should point out that if you consider Video Enhancer "dedicated upconversion software that uses complicated motion estimation algorithms to produce higher quality images than simple Lanczos resizing and a sharpen filter" then you need serious help. i downloaded and tried that piece of software and can't believe anyone would actually pay money for it.
VE doesn't allow you create mpeg-2 files and it's "super resolution" technology is a joke. i defy you, or anyone else, to take a NTSC 4:3 DVD and upconvert it to a 1280x720 16:9 mpeg-2 using VE.
now if you are using it to upscale a VCD to 512x384 using xvid and are happy with the results, more power to you.
This thread is now on probation. No name calling (and saying what name you wouldn't call, amounts to the same thing) or other hostilities, or it will be locked.
Originally Posted by Soopafresh
source is an "adult" themed mpeg-2, 720x480 4:3, ntsc, interlaced (interlace lines are visible when viewed on a computer monitor), video bitrate is 5500 kb/s, 29.97, audio is mp2, 48000 Hz, 224 kb/s, all in all a pretty decent quality movie considering the source.
using the latest version of gui4ffmpeg (for simplicity's sake), target is set to mpeg-2 ("dvd" is chosen from drop down menu), resolution is 1280x720, ntsc, 7000 kb/s, 16:9, audio is set to ac3 at 224 kb/s, and the following options are appended to the command line:
-mbd 2 -qmin 2 -qmax 6 -deinterlace -b 7000k
the key to upsizing it to provide enough bitrate for the extra resolution and to only go up 1 resolution increment, in other words, it's unrealistic to expect to be able to upsize 480i to 720p while using the same bitrate and it's unrealistic to expect to upsize vcd to 1080p no matter how many filters or how much bitrate you throw at it.
give the above a shot and let us know what you think, just remember the higher the quality of the source, the better the results will be.
There is no difference between what you are suggesting doing, and simply using the resize filter i virtualdub and frameserving to any encoder with a suitable bitrate (BTW, virtualdub doesn't save to mpeg2 either, but that is irrelevant).
If you are happy with taking the simplistic route as a solution, please, continue to do so. However others here strive for a better quality solution.
Upconverting DVD files (as opposed to just letting a DVD or Blu-Ray player do it for you) would be a better alternative if you are dealing with a PAL dvd or region-coded dvd that will not play on your upconverting player.
I have a large group of PAL region 2 dvds that will not play in my Playstation 3; I have also noticed that the PS3 really doesn't do a very good job of upconverting dvds - case in point: HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER. When watching it on TCM-HD, it was obviously an upconvert (as details were comparable/equal to the dvd I had from the CLINT EASTWOOD western set) but colors were solid and there was no grain/digital noise. The dvd was weaker in color and contrast, and contained a film of digital noise over the entire image - and that was as played through the PS3.
Of course, will upconverting said dvd improve colors, contrast and decrease the noise inherent on a lot of dvd transfers? Granted, any upconvert will only give a minor boost to image quality overall, as the best you can do is get rid of jagged edge lines inherent in 420p resolution (I would imagine that increasing resolution to 720p would at least smooth lines out and give an overall "cleaner" image, even if it is not more detailed). Regardless, I don't mind the 12 to 24 hour wait, as I work with Handbrake which has similar time scales when doing remuxes.
My question is: what program(s) is/are the best when doing upconverting from 420p NTSC (or more to the point, 525p PAL) to 720p, regardless of how long it takes? Also, what programs exist to adjust issues such as 1080i 50/60fps to 720p/1080p 24fps, as well as give the user specific options such as boosting or decreasing contrast/ colors/ changing color timing?
Any help would be appreciated.